Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Good Characters and How to Write Them

What is a good character? Many people ask this, and many people try to make the ideal character. But from a writer's perspective, a 'good' character isn't perfect. They may not even be good - they might be broken from the inside and come from a broken home.
A good character in writing is all about making a 3D character that actually makes sense when put into a good context - i.e your novel. A good character has a nice little backstory and personality, with habits, just like real people. If you want to create a good character, read on!

  • Give your character some love - give them a backstory. Is your character the head of a tribe? If so, don't let their parents give them away just for the 'aw' factor. The 'aw' factor is usually frowned upon, other than in online pieces of work, and will result in a Mary-Sue character. Is your character depressed? Give them pain in their life. Make them try to battle it, and don't say "everyone died, she kinda died, and her dog died". You need to give them positive aspects, too, otherwise the reader will not connect at all.
  • Let them have their own way of speech. I know people who say 'ay' instead of 'what', and people who say 'aint' instead of 'isn't'. Therefore, it's crucial to make them realistic, and the best way to do that is by giving them a regional dialect. Maybe they're from London living in LA - make them say 'crisps' not 'chips' and make them say 'ay' a lot - in England, we rarely spell it 'eh', it usually 'ay'.
  • Make them have a habit. In real life, most people have habits. Whether they chew their nails, spit on the floor (ew), or tap their fingers a lot, most people have a habit. Why should your character, who you're lovingly crafting, be any different? Look around you for inspiration! You may find the easiest way to make a good character is to write down everything about yourself, or someone you know well. Pick out every single last flaw and habit, and place them on your main character.
  • Give them a hobby! Do they enjoy chess, and are they a member of a chess club? Do they prefer drawing, and have tons of portfolios? Make sure that your characters are real! Write them into a club or something. If the 'club' or hobby doesn't fit your story at all, make sure you let the reader know they used to be part of a club. Now, they don't go because they can't find the time. Or something.
So there you have it! My top tips on how to write a good character. Feeling stuck? There's always a comments section below!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kirstin ! I featured this post on my blog! ✿✿ http://terriblemusings.blogspot.jp/2015/03/how-to-develop-characters.html

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